“Bill for creation of a new State should be placed before Parliament”

As the paperwork relating to the formation of Telangana as the 29th State of India is set to begin in the next few days, the Constitution requires the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council to express their views in this regard.

According to former Secretary General of Lok Sabha and constitutional expert P.D.T. Achary, the Bill for creation of a new State should be placed before Parliament under Article 3 of the Constitution of India, 1949.

As per the provisions for the formation of new States, and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States, “no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views.”

Mr. Achary pointed out that since Andhra Pradesh had both the Assembly and the Legislative Council, the Houses had to express their views on the new State formation. They would be given a time frame to revert to the President. Even if both bodies through a resolution reject (the formation), or one constitutional body approves it and the other rejects it, it would not be binding on Parliament which can go ahead with the consideration of the States reorganisation bill, he said.

The legislation cannot be challenged in court unless it affects the fundamental rights of citizens. With reference to special provisions given to the development of Telangana region under Article 371, he said they could be “omitted’ by Parliament after the new State was created.

Another constitutional expert and former Rajya Sabha member, R. Shanmugasundaram, said it was the prerogative of Parliament to enact any legislation and that this could not be challenged in court.